Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Mizpah at last

I'm just back from my spring trip to the lovely semi-ghost town of Tonopah Nevada. 

The desk clerk told us they sometimes hear
children talking who are not there. That made
the strange miniature furniture look really eerie.

The big news this year is that the Mizpah Hotel has finally re-opened.

Last year...outside in.

I've been photographing the place through the windows for years.

Now I finally got in.

This year...inside out.

There have been other changes around town as well.

That photo I found a few years ago of the guy posing with a beer is gone.

It was in the cave/cabin on the floor with all the junk so, for safekeeping, I stashed it between some stones in the rock face of the "cabin". However, this spring it was gone so another face disappears into Tonopah's fading past. Also, the abandoned tailor's shack up the street that still housed some wonderful antique equipment is gone.

Little remained of tailor's
shop from days gone by.

I'm hoping the museum folks rescued the equipment. I don't think it was in the rubble but then I didn't dig around.

Tailor shop today, collapsed and gone.

And, as I mentioned before, the little store Hippies of Tonopah is gone, not the building itself, but Hippy. Graffiti inside reads "Ur Gay". So much for love in diversity. 

But no time to mourn to past.

The ghosts of Tonopah Present haunt us even now...

Goblin of the Fifth Floor

...not only the goblin that accosted us as we explored the hotel...

The Lady in Red

...but the ghost the Lady in Red herself. Legend has it that she was stabbed to death by a jealous lover in the hallway outside of her room, 502, and haunts the hotel to this day. Naturally, we tried reserving her room for our stay next fall but it was already booked. But we will be in room 501. Close enough. I'm already spooked. The building itself is morose and vaguely threatening. I was happy to get back down to the lobby and glad to re-emerge back out under the blue desert sky.

I posted more photos of the Mizpah here.


Don said...

It does have a look and feel appropriate to slightly macabre cinema.

I hope they make it but it's hard to imagine such a sizable place attracting sufficient clientele. Too many of these enterprises are founded on the build-it-and-they-will-come narrative.

Roy said...

I don't know. How much is it per night?

Perhaps we should lock ourselves in there some November and wager who can write the best novel before the snow plows come to get us out.

Oh. I just googled it, and the average yearly snow depth is one inch. I guess it would have to be short stories. Flash fiction, perhaps.

Roy said...

OK. SnowFALL is 13", snow DEPTH is 1". I guess it never snows more than an inch at a time?

asha said...

Don, I'm afraid you may be right. It fits into Tonopah's boom and bust way of life but it would be great if it somehow survived. It's a great/weird old place.

Roy, I always thought the Mizpah should be a writer's retreat. What better place? Tonopah sits on the north border of Area 51, Vegas is four hours down the road and certain death awaits in the desert all around, plus turquoise mines and cool ancient artifacts if you survive. Makes for a lovely "write or die" experience.

Anyway, the Belvedere across the street, slated to re-open in 2008, is still empty. At this point, almost all the windows have been knocked completely out so we'd have to negotiate with the generations of pigeons who live there but maybe they'd share.

At least now we know the answer to "How come no one ever sees a baby pigeon?". Answer: "They're all over at the Belvedere."

Don said...

I took a picture of pigeons gazing out a high window at the Belvedere. I wonder if they contemplated the hopeful businessmen who looked out the same window back when Tonopah gave reason for hopeful businessmen.

These ruins are poignant in part because they don't get replaced, as they do down in the city. They don't get replaced for reasons that are sad and clear.

But if the Mizpah were to be the pet project of an eccentric old trust fund baby who just wanted to sustain a spot of elegance and weirdness in the midst of those tumbledown hills, it could be something.

Roy said...

I wish I had the money. I would love to run a hotel--or at least walk around and be the hotel owner.

Oh, this is too good. One of the verification words is